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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Amazon is Raising the Price of Prime Monthly Memberships by Nearly 20 Percent (recode.net) 158

Amazon is boosting the price of its monthly Prime membership fees for new and existing members by nearly 20%. The online retailer said Friday its annual membership fee of $99 will not change. From a report: The increase comes less than two years after Amazon first introduced the monthly payment option as a way to attract new Prime members who either couldn't afford the annual membership of $99, which is not increasing, or didn't want to commit to using the service continuously. Prime is the engine at the center of the Amazon commerce machine -- Prime members buy from Amazon more frequently than non-Prime members and also spend more, hence why Amazon introduced the monthly option to lure new members. So if the company is raising the fee, you can bet that it discovered the current $10.99 was just not sustainable.
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Amazon is Raising the Price of Prime Monthly Memberships by Nearly 20 Percent

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  • Not sustainable? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:31AM (#55960375)

    Or they just like money... Is that possibility really too crazy to consider?

    • Re:Not sustainable? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:52AM (#55960525) Journal

      of course it's sustainable, otherwise they would have raised the $99 yearly fee. The price hike is just to make some people to switch to the full year price, thinking they will get the better deal. It will work for some, and savvy people will only subscribe for november (black friday) and july (prime day)

      • Re:Not sustainable? (Score:4, Informative)

        by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:09AM (#55960687) Homepage

        ...savvy people will only subscribe for november (black friday) and july (prime day)

        Or they'll keep piggy backing off someone else's subscription. I can't stream Prime video, but I get free 2-day shipping thanks to a family member who pays yearly. I can't be alone in this.

        • Or they'll keep piggy backing off someone else's subscription. I can't stream Prime video, but I get free 2-day shipping

          I also share an account with other family members, and we all share the Prime video as well as the free shipping. What is stopping you from doing that? They don't limit the video to one location.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            What is stopping you from doing that?

            If we shared an account I don't think it would cause a problem. We don't, and it does. When I'm logged in from my account and try to watch video, I'm prompted to sign up for Prime. Free 2-day works fine. It could be that we could set things up differently and share the Prime video, but most of what I'd want from Prime video I can get just as easily from TPB so I've never been motivated to look into it. From their site:

            Sharing benefits through Amazon Household requires both adults to link their accounts in an Amazon Household and agree to share payment methods.

            We don't share payment methods, but sharing benefits still works half-way.

          • by ryanmc1 ( 682957 )
            The previously mentioned sharing is legal, the sharing you are talking about is not.
      • of course it's sustainable, otherwise they would have raised the $99 yearly fee.

        That doesn't follow, because customers may use the service differently on a monthly subscription, and one usage pattern may be sustainable at a given price point, but not another.

        For example, users may choose to sign up when they have a bunch of stuff to order (say, right before Christmas), then cancel immediately. With the annual subscription you have the low-utilization months to balance out the high-utilization months. I suppose some people may still say "I'm ordering a bunch of stuff right now, so muc

        • I've had Prime since year one, and while I occasionally have purchase spurts - enough to make the subscription worth my while - I occasionally go for a month or two without ordering anything, so...I guess I'm subsidizing you? : )
          • I've had Prime since year one, and while I occasionally have purchase spurts - enough to make the subscription worth my while - I occasionally go for a month or two without ordering anything, so...I guess I'm subsidizing you? : )

            And I appreciate it!

          • I've been buying Prime for several years now, but the funny thing is old habits die hard and I still act as though the shipping isn't free unless you go over a certain amount. I end up using Amazon like a shopping list, adding stuff to my cart as I think of it. Then once I actually need something in a short time I pull the trigger on the order. There is zero incentive for me to do this, but I still do it.

      • Re:Not sustainable? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:57AM (#55961045) Homepage
        It seems more to prevent people from paying $10 and binge-watching all of Amazon's exclusives in a single month.
        • Re:Not sustainable? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @12:25PM (#55961371)

          THIS. Or, at the very least, this is probably part of the decision making process. I doubt there's any one issue.

          * greed/wanting more money... this doesn't make sense as a reason, because it relies on the chance that people will still get the monthly sub, which is more expensive than the yearly sub.

          * seasonal shipping.. this is probably part of the reason.

          * binge watching amazon exclusives (or other vids)... prime video alone, IMO, isn't worth the full prime price. If someone isn't reaping many of the other benefits, then a periodic binge on a one month sub is the only way it'd make sense.... and then, who cares if it's a few bucks more?

          * possibly a buffer in prep for the lack of Net Neutrality... if they need to start shelling out cash for fast lanes to ISP's, that has to come from somewhere

          If they had had a monthly option when I signed up, and it was close to the same price, I would have gone monthly only when needed/wanted.

          • You, as a rational consumer, are only trying to get the best deal for your money.

            As a profit-oriented company, Amazon is only trying to get the most money it can from its investments.

            That said, I stopped shopping on Amazon years ago... today will mark the first time I seek an alternative to Whole Foods, as I have no intention of giving Bezos any more of my political support, aka socioeconomics. It sucks, because they're closer to home, next to other stores I shop at, and I have friends that work there.

        • if that were true, they could still do it for 2 dollars more don't you think?

        • by Vektuz ( 886618 )
          Yeah, this.

          Basically, people signing up for 10.99 and then buying a giant exercise machine that costs many times more than the margin on shipping, binge watching everything, then letting the subscription die after one month, to open it again a couple months later when they do the same thing again.

          Eventually it just doesn't make sense. Its one thing if its netflix and a human can only consume so much, its another thing when a single person can flood a delivery truck and incur hundreds and hundreds
      • by tsotha ( 720379 )
        That's my guess. At $10.99 you can do all you Chrismas shopping through Amazon, come out far ahead on shipping, then drop it in January.
    • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:56AM (#55960561)
      What seems to have been happening, is that people would order a pile of stuff and find that paying for one month of Prime cost less than shipping. So they would sign up and then cancel.
      • Re:Not sustainable? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:09AM (#55960683)
        Back when I was on a free trial of Prime, I switched all of my preorders to the free two-day shipping option. After the free trial was up, all of my preorders (some of which would not ship for several months) retained the free two-day shipping. So yeah, I can totally see people signing up for a month of prime in order to place a bunch of orders.
      • by obenchainr ( 817684 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:13AM (#55960717)
        As soon as I read the post, I assumed this was what was happening. Especially for something larger, the shipping will likely be more than $10, so signing up for Prime to get, say, a lawn mower or something big delivered (especially around the holidays) and then cancelling again would be a fiscally smart way to (ab)use the system.
        • Back when Prime first started you could ship anything next-day for $2 extra, flat fee. Lawnmower, BBQ, whatever. It was great. Clearly not sustainable, but it was good while it lasted.
      • What seems to have been happening, is that people would order a pile of stuff and find that paying for one month of Prime cost less than shipping. So they would sign up and then cancel.

        Some places like Six Flags, charge monthly payments but require you to keep it for a full 12 months before cancelling to prevent just this.
        Six Flags has a similar problem. They are charging a monthly subscription when they aren't even open for the full 12 months in many locations.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by atrex ( 4811433 )
      They probably got annoyed at people signing up for the monthly prime service in November/December, then canceling in late December/January.
  • The new price (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:31AM (#55960377)
    The new price is $12.99/month if anyone was wondering.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It wasn't worth it at the old price. Their streaming service is substandard and the "free" shipping is just added on to the price of the item.

      • Re:The new price (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:01AM (#55960615) Homepage Journal

        It wasn't worth it at the old price. Their streaming service is substandard and the "free" shipping is just added on to the price of the item.

        I find for the small sum of $99/yr, it is VERY much worth it to me.

        I like the 2x day shipping, and I do most of my shopping there online, rather than brick and mortar.

        I really have been using Amazon Music to stream in my car lately.

        I like the free eBooks I get monthly for reading.

        I believe there is also free online storage you get for photos and something called Twitch.tv too, but I"ve not explored those yet.

        I do shop around online for best prices, but most of the time, I find it at Amazon, and I have just enough patience for most things to get here in 2x days.

        Their video streaming content is getting better, I have both it and Netflix....Netflix seems to have less and less and Amazon seems to be starting to have more and more movies I want to watch these days.

        Again....$99 a year is nothing, as I mentioned elsewhere, I've had bar tabs that high, so for all that entertainment AND "free" 2x day shipping, it is more than worth it to me.

        • I almost hate to say this, but walmart.com is coming on strong
          on a lot of common, and not so common items, it is price competitive with amazon, especially if you do the ship-to-store option
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            The difference is that with Amazon I don't have to shop at Walmart.

            Not saying Amazon's warehouse workers are treated amazingly well, but they are a shade better than Walmart deliberately helping their workers go on public assistance. Seeing as I already have to pay Walmart's workers out of my tax dollars, I'm not going to give them another dime.

            Oh, and when I buy a product on Amazon, I'm more or less guaranteed the actual product, not the "Walmart version" of the product, which is typically made on the che

            • Oh, and when I buy a product on Amazon, I'm more or less guaranteed the actual product, not the "Walmart version" of the product

              "AmazonBasics" might ring a bell?

              Sure, you can get the real deal. But it ain't like Amazon doesn't make its own knockoffs of "everyday" items where brand names don't matter much to users, like network cables.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                I'm not talking about "private label" products. I'm talking about Samsung making two models of TV, one for all other retailers, and one for Walmart, in which the Walmart SKU uses a cheaper panel, comes with less inputs, worse speakers, etc. It's still labeled as the same model, but if you check the actual model number it will be different.

                So, purely as example, if there is a model number 700x52 sold at places like BestBuy and Amazon, there will be a 700x52W sold at Walmart. It will have a few less inputs

              • My limited experience with AmazonBasics (a couple of small-ticket electronics items) has been generally positive. Quality was acceptable, price was fair.
              • That's not the same. Those products are clearly branded as Amazon Basics (and are often of equal or better quality). Walmart, on the other hand insists suppliers make brand name products special for Walmart with independent SKUs that may not meet the same quality requirements of the manufacturers other products. If you can't meet their price point, they'll help you find a factory in China that will help you do it, with thinner steel, lower quality components, etc. (https://www.fastcompany.com/54763/man-who-
                • Wow. Ok, that's something I never heard of. Actually I'd guess it's outright illegal in most parts of Europe with that "reasonable expectation" clause in the consumer protection laws.

            • Oh yes Jeff Bezoar, the great humanitarian

              Obviously this is an emotional thing for you, for me it is not.
              And of course walmart.com (and target.com) does deliver, and don't tell me that the AA batteries on amazon are any different than the ones you get at other sites
          • by hawk ( 1151 )

            The catch, of course, being that you have to deal with a walmart parking lot, go *into* a walmart, deal with a walmart parking lot again, and escape that parking lot . . .

            At least you go to a separate counter than the occupationally challenged cashiers, or the long wait at "customer service" behind people trying to "return" assorted stuff from their cabinet, or that they've found, or . . .

            hawk

          • I almost hate to say this, but walmart.com is coming on strong on a lot of common, and not so common items, it is price competitive with amazon, especially if you do the ship-to-store option

            But UGH the thought of actually having to go to, park and go inside a Walmart....I just can't stand going into that place.

            I rarely go to a Wally-world...usually only to get a really good deal on ammo (bird shot 100 packs for $19.99), and at times, oil or washing/waxing products for the car. But other than that, just ca

        • Eh...I finally dropped it after 15 years...they're just not competitive on price any more. Things they post as "on-sale" are still 10-20% higher than their competitors. The auxiliary services (streaming video / music) I don't use as I have monster personal library, and Netflix respectively.

          The turning point was finding a hockey bag on sale on Amazon for 110$, after a brief search on google (2nd hit) found it somewhere else for 40$ w/ free shipping. That happened on 3 or 4 semi-major purchases in a row.

          Eh...

          • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

            Eh...I finally dropped it after 15 years...they're just not competitive on price any more. Things they post as "on-sale" are still 10-20% higher than their competitors. The auxiliary services (streaming video / music) I don't use as I have monster personal library, and Netflix respectively.

            The turning point was finding a hockey bag on sale on Amazon for 110$, after a brief search on google (2nd hit) found it somewhere else for 40$ w/ free shipping. That happened on 3 or 4 semi-major purchases in a row.

            Eh...I'll save that 100$ a year and spend it elsewhere until they fix some of their deceptive "sale" tactics.

            I find Amazon is better for smaller, one-off type items. For example, my 2 year old dog finds phone charger cords to be rather tasty- she's chewed through at least 4-5 of mine (luckily just the standard USB-C) and one or tow of my wife's(Lightning, sadly). Every time she chewed through mine I'd have to run to the dollar store and buy another cord for $5. Got fed up, went to Amazon, and got a 6 pack of sturdy, flexible, and long cords from China for $12. There was also my small Black and Decker rice cook

          • Eh...I finally dropped it after 15 years...they're just not competitive on price any more. Things they post as "on-sale" are still 10-20% higher than their competitors.

            Maybe some things, but by no means all, or even most.

            Prime makes sense for a lot of people, including me. I order a LOT online. I do comparison shop, but still end up getting a lot from Amazon every month.

            Combine that with the Prime video - which I like, as I like eclectic stuff and I don't care if the latest hot popular series or movies are included - and it's a great value.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          $99 is just the base cost, you then have at add up all the extra you pay for over priced items that qualify for Prime.

          Maybe it's better in the US, but I couldn't live off the selection available at Amazon UK.

          • Maybe it's better in the US, but I couldn't live off the selection available at Amazon UK.

            It's the same in Canada. Many items are not available through Prime and for those that are the Prime cost is usually the same as the non-Prime+shipping. The only advantage is that Prime is usually faster shipping. You also lack many of the features like free eBooks and the video selection is not great at all (far worse than Netflix). On top of that you cannot share Prime with people at the same address so it is useless for families since sharing an account means you cannot use it for Christmas and birthday

            • On top of that you cannot share Prime with people at the same address so it is useless for families since sharing an account means you cannot use it for Christmas and birthdays.

              Yes you can, go to Your Account, scroll down til you see "Shopping Programs & Rentals and then click Amazon Household

              From the help page about it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help... [amazon.com]

              Sharing benefits through Amazon Household requires both adults to link their accounts in an Amazon Household and agree to share payment methods. Each adult keeps his or her personal account while sharing those benefits at no additional cost. To set up an Amazon Household, go to the Amazon Household main page.

              https://www..amazon.com/myh/ma... [amazon.com]

              • Try that on amazon.ca and let me know how it works. The only thing they have in Canada is "Amazon Family" which gives you 20% off diapers so in Canada their Prime offering is literally shit.
          • $99 is just the base cost, you then have at add up all the extra you pay for over priced items that qualify for Prime.

            Maybe it's better in the US, but I couldn't live off the selection available at Amazon UK.

            Hmm...yeah, it must be MUCH different outside the US then.

            I mean, pretty much *everything* find qualifies for Prime shipment, except some 3rd party items...and I don't find that Amazon is overpriced compared to other online retailers, if they even have what I want in stock at other online retailers.

          • I should look at my Amazon orders from last year and see just how far off their prices are for the items that I can buy locally. I suspect Amazon's total cost is still cheaper. I average more than an order a week and shopping at a local retailer is going to take me between 30 and 60 minutes round-trip, but I'll have to make multiple stops. Then there's the problem of the retailer not carrying something, or it being out of stock; there's no wasted trips with Amazon.

            I buy pretty much everything through Am

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              I don't necessary buy stuff locally, just from other places online. In fact often it's just 3rd party sellers on Amazon that are cheaper.

        • Same here. For the free shipping and the video, it's a no brainer.

          For those who can't figure this out: yes, some Prime items might be overpriced to account for shipping, but by no means all. That's why you do this thing called "comparison shop". It's made much easier by this other thing called "the internet".

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        ...the "free" shipping is just added on to the price of the item.

        If they're still the cheapest alternative, who cares?

      • "free" shipping is just added on to the price of the item

        Is that why their prices are almost always lower than all competitors?

      • It wasn't worth it at the old price.

        That depends entirely on how you use it. For many of us we pay for it in orders alone.

        Their streaming service is substandard and the "free" shipping is just added on to the price of the item.

        Except that the prices are still the same whether you have prime or don't, so you get everyone else in the world to subsidise your shipping cost, and at like 1/2 purchases a month the substandard streaming service can remain substandard because you're getting it for free, subsidised by those people in the world who don't order more than a couple of packages a month.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Except that the prices are still the same whether you have prime or don't

          At least on the .co.uk site there is usually a third party seller that is cheaper than the Prime price including shipping, where the item ships from the Amazon warehouse but takes a little longer to reach you. So you pay more for the Prime version and get expedited shipping on the exact same product...

      • My biggest gripe with their 'free 2 day shipping' is that there is no specific recourse for circumstances where the product arrives late. It's almost like they use it as an excuse.
        • by jowaju ( 641863 )
          Yes there is, simply contact them and get an additional month of prime for free, I do it every time I have a late package, which is admittedly almost never. "Note: If you received free shipping with a guaranteed delivery date through Amazon Prime, you may be eligible for a free one-month extension if the delivery date isn't met. Prime extensions are limited to one per free trial, one per month for monthly members, and 12 for an annual membership."
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WalMart is becoming competitive with them (fewer shipping problems and better packaged for shipping) AND they have brick and mortar stores which Amazon barely has.

  • Long-term lock-in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:36AM (#55960419)

    Sustainable my ass. Now that they've got people hooked Amazon wants to make sure they don't leave again and lock them in for a full year.

    Bonus side effect: they get to charge people who cannot afford a lump sum of 100$ more. Being poor is expensive.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Oligopolies and near monopolies almost always suck in the longer term. Without competition, Amazon will gradually grow dickier and dickier.

    • Sustainable my ass. Now that they've got people hooked Amazon wants to make sure they don't leave again and lock them in for a full year.

      Bonus side effect: they get to charge people who cannot afford a lump sum of 100$ more. Being poor is expensive.

      Discounts on longer terms are ... common. Evil? I don't think so, but even if so, Amazon didn't invent it ...

    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      Bonus side effect: they get to charge people who cannot afford a lump sum of 100$ more. Being poor is expensive.

      Your complaint makes no sense - they don't charge people that "cannot afford a lump sum of 100$" more, they charge shipping. Same as many retailers that have free shipping for orders over $100 (for example), that doesn't mean people that pay "more" than they otherwise would if their order is under $100.

    • Poor people generally don't buy a large amount of the crap that Amazon sells.

      I read stories on here of people who get deliveries every couple of days and wonder what the hell people need that often. It can't all be fruit and veg which it never has in the correct quantity anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ..they discovered that people would sign up for a month then cancel once they got the high shipping cost item they wanted? Then do it again 2 or 3 times a year? I know people who do exactly this. Same with `flix and `lu. It makes sense to raise the price to cover the people who do that. And being they are not raising the yearly cost, the $99 is profitable, but 10.99 3x/yr is not.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I cant figure that part out.
    My packages will get here when they get here.
    And usually they arrive much sooner than the estimate.

    I will never pay for Prime.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

      I cant figure that part out.

      My packages will get here when they get here.

      And usually they arrive much sooner than the estimate.

      I will never pay for Prime.

      I find a lot of value in it.

      I do a LOT of shopping on Amazon, I rarely go to brick and mortar stores, and I like the 2x day shipping. I have patience for 2 days.

      I like the options I find on Amazon Prime that comes with it.

      I like that I get free eBooks monthly.

      You get some free storage on amazon cloud.

      I enjoy the Amazon Music, I use that to stream

    • It makes a bigger difference if you have kids. Didn't see the appeal until going to a store became a big ordeal. People's lives were probably saved when they were infants and we were sleep deprived and could have whatever we needed delivered!
  • by gti_guy ( 875684 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:48AM (#55960503)
    No one is forcing you to use Prime. What is this even a story?
    • No one forces you to do most things. That doesn't mean it isn't of interest to people.

      News only about things you're being forced to do is called government propaganda.

    • This is a tech news site. No one forces you to use Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft or Linux. No one forces you to program in C++, PHP, Python, Java, JavaScript or Basic. No one forces you to use Chrome, FireFox, Edge or Lynx. But once you start cutting all those, I'm not sure what stories would go on /.

  • by rjejr ( 921275 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:58AM (#55960579)
    They probably should have done this in mid October before everyone signed up for 1 month for Black Friday shopping and last minute Christmas shopping. The fact that they waited until mid-January at least is a good reminder for everyone who signed up monthly to cancel now that they are done shopping. And it does look like they are giving a 1 month notice, my monthly renewal date is February 5 but they said I won't be charged the extra $2, $12.99, until March 5th, so they are giving people and extra month at the current price it looks like. Nobody likes to pay money, but I think it's a good move by them. We were signing up about every 3 ro 4 months just to save $12 on $60 video game and get it day 1. We were also getting a free month every year, from 3 different people in our house with Amazon accounts, so we probably only paid 1 or 2 months out of the year. Sorry if we ruined it for anybody,w e just did what they let us do. They could have dropped monthly entirely, forced everyone to pay $99, but at least people will still have the option to pay $13 in July for Prime day or next November for Black Friday shopping. It could have been worse. I have no relationship with Amazon except as a customer, and I'll be dropping Prime next month.
  • by plague911 ( 1292006 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @11:01AM (#55960613)
    "So if the company is raising the fee, you can bet that it discovered the current $10.99 was just not sustainable."

    Talk about jumping to conclusions. There are a myriad of reasons why the company could be choosing to raise its price and dozens of factors at play. Yet the author picked one, because "reasons." There likely is a analysis out there 100 pages thick about the implications of rising the price yet you think the answer is of-course a one word statement of "sustainability."

  • For me last straw was Amazon's refusal to sell an item I wanted unless I was a prime member.

    When a company gets so big that they feel secure enough in their position to intentionally fuck with their customers essentially telling them to screw off it's time to write that company off and move on.

    • buh-bye
    • Eh, that's like Costco or Sam's Club, though. Presumably that item was selling at invoice or just barely over.
      • Eh, that's like Costco or Sam's Club, though. Presumably that item was selling at invoice or just barely over.

        This isn't about stores requiring memberships. If Amazon went membership only I would respect it although personally would chose not to purchase a membership because they offer nothing I can't get on same or more favorable terms elsewhere.

        Bottom line if your going to pretend to be open to the public then don't play games with me and expect to keep my business.

        This was Star Wars blu ray selling at full rip-off price something like $25. Ended up rolling the dice on eBay and picked up non-bootleg for less th

    • I ran into this, too. It was a consumable item I had purchased a few times in the past, but most recently when I went to order it I was told I couldn't unless I became a prime member. I also had some pet supplies in my Amazon cart. In the end, I cancelled the entire Amazon order and purchased the pet supplies from a different online retailer for the same price (including free shipping.)
    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      For me last straw was Amazon's refusal to sell an item I wanted unless I was a prime member.

      What item, specifically, did they refuse to sell to a non-prime customer?

  • There was a point in time for which having a membership made sense. This year is going to be my last year of prime. I've actually stopped using Amazon in general for most things in the past year.

    Amazon relies heavily on third party sellers these days. It seems like the products from these sellers that are prime eligible just have the shipping costs built into the price. For example, I searched on Amazon "adafruit" (a hobbyist electronics company) and one of the first results is the "Adafruit 328 battery.
    • Amazon relies heavily on third party sellers these days. It seems like the products from these sellers that are prime eligible just have the shipping costs built into the price. For example, I searched on Amazon "adafruit" (a hobbyist electronics company) and one of the first results is the "Adafruit 328 battery." $18.35 on Amazon, $14.95 on adafruit.com.

      Obviously Prime doesn't remove the need to comparison shop. I agree there is a lot of highly overpriced stuff there, and you need to be able to filter that out or you will get ripped off. One would hope if you use it enough to join Prime that would not be a problem but for some people it probably still is.

      I remember an NPR story awhile back that many 3rd party sellers were simply buying products on ebay, marking up the price, re-selling on Amazon, and making a killing. People have been trained to use Amazon even when a simple search can find products cheaper from other sources.

      No doubt, but dealing with a single source has an advantage as well. So long as the prices are in line with other vendors, I find it easier to just deal with a handful than what would be dozens,

  • I have a trial membership right now. I don't think I will stay with it.

    To get the two hour food delivery, with no additional charges, I have to put together a $35+ order. Otherwise it's an extra $5. I thought I might have use of this, but I don't.

    The video selection is not that great.

    I can usually put together a $35 order when I order from Amazon, so I get free delivery anyway.

    A lot of stuff on Amazon is significantly more expensive than what I would pay elsewhere.

    This is just my experience. I suppose it co

  • ... So if the company is raising the fee, you can bet that it discovered the current $10.99 was just not sustainable. ...

    I honestly think the original authors reasoning here is rather a naive view of things, likely drawn directly from Amazon's press release where they attempted to justify the higher prices. It seems far more likely that the new $12.99 per month fee does exactly two things, and nothing more: 1) it only minimally impacts the number of users who will cancel their monthly Prime subscription, and 2) it positively impacts the number of customers who will upgrade their Prime subscription to the yearly model -- whic

  • So if the company is raising the fee, you can bet that it discovered the current $10.99 was just not sustainable.

    This is exactly why I look to /., to provide me with just this sort of keen insight not available in the mainstream press... Thank you Captain Obvious! [tenor.com]

  • The cancellation link on the site is busted, and all other options for editing the membership fail. Hitting up support chat results in:

    I am sorry xxxxxxxxx. I've tried to cancel the membership. Since there is a technical error, We're unable to cancel the prime membership.

    Ripped all my credit cards out from my account and that managed to get the end date on Prime to show up for next month.

    I would've been on the annual membership but Amazon won't let me switch to it for some reason. Fuck em.

  • Just a few lines up in the daily email, there is "BMW's Apple CarPlay Annual Fee is Next-level Gouging [slashdot.org]" ; so how come this action doesn't also qualify as "next level gouging"?

    If you have Slashdot Advertising (I haven't seen that since some years before I started to use NoScript or even AdBlock; I guess there is still some advertising somewhere), then perhaps Amazon are bugger buyers than BMW. Or ... there is some other reason. But it's gouging nonetheless.

    I actually brought several things from Amazon last

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